Mukesh Bubna (right), director, prepaid card, Asia Pacific & Japan, Western Union, receives the Trailblazer award from Thomas Zink (left), associate editor, Banking & Payments Asia, at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel in Singapore.
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payment services, has recently won the coveted Product Excellence in Prepaid Award at the Banking & Payments Asia Trailblazer Award 2013 for its prepaid card launches in Philippines and India.
The Banking and Payments Asia Trailblazer Awards, now in its fourth year, recognize outstanding financial institutions that have exhibited a high degree of innovation and enterprise in product development, service delivery or process improvement.
“We are delighted that our prepaid card launches in the Philippines and India last year have been recognized as groundbreakers by our industry peers,” said Mukesh Bubna, director, prepaid card – Asia Pacific & Japan, Western Union.
“In launching general purpose reloadable prepaid cards in Asia Pacific in 2012, Western Union leveraged its extensive agent network, which reaches many remote and rural areas in both countries, Western Union collaborated with payment networks, Visa in the Philippines and MasterCard in India to offer consumers a safer alternative to carrying cash, storing and accessing their money and spending at retail shops and online”, he said.
“The Card launches in Philippines and India as groundbreaking and practical in meeting the needs of millions of underserved consumers” said Thomas Zink, associate editor, Banking & Payments Asia.”
“Prepaid cards fill a large gap in the financial services market by offering consumers with no or limited access to formal financial services a safer alternative to carry, store, manage and spend their money”
Western Union was one of a handful of financial institutions that really thought out of the box to develop a differentiated card experience”, he said.
In addition to addressing real consumer needs and pain points, the card also promotes financial inclusion in the Philippines and India, where the use of banking services is only 27%+ and 35%+ respectively.
In July 2012, Western Union launched the Western Union Gold Prepaid Card with Union Bank giving Filipinos for the first time to load all or part of their Western Union inward remittances onto the card via multiple channels remotely through SMS, online, call centre support or directly through Western Union’s participating Agent network. All other monies derived from income, government payments, gifts and other earnings can also be loaded.
In October 2012, Western Union launched the Western Union ICICI Bank Prepaid Card in India, Consumers can load monies derived from income, government payments, gifts and other earnings including remittances after it has been cashed out.